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County games continue

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019 3:53pm

After the hectic schedule of last weekend it’s a bit calmer this week, but no less exciting with some entertaining games down for decision, in what is to be the second last weekend of club championship before the intercounty scene takes over.

A double header in Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday as last year’s runners-up, Courcey Rovers, get their campaign underway when they face Fermoy.

Courcey’s came very close last season, they only lost to Charleville after a replay, and will be determined to go one better this time round.

However they meet a Fermoy side that are on a roll right now, and boosted by a great win for their footballers in their senior debut against Castlehaven, and with several of that team on duty they might just shade this one.

It’s also a North Cork vs South East Cork tie in the second game as Valley Rovers and Kilworth meet, and again, an interesting encounter on the cards.

Chris O’Leary is a key player for Valleys, and in good form, and they will start as favourites and it’s a tag they should justify.

A total of four games with double headers in Brinny and Páirc Uí Rinn.

Glen Rovers, with experienced players David Busteed, Mark Dooley, Ken McCarthy Coade, Colm Byrne and Keith McCarthy, should be too strong for Barryroe.

Equally Blackrock, with a host of promising underage players in their ranks, will be expected to overcome the challenge of Kilbrittain, both of these games are in Brinny on Saturday.

On the same evening Páirc Uí Rinn is the venue for the meeting of Argideen Rangers and Castlemarytr, and with Daragh Moran and Brian and Barry Lawton in their side, the East Cork outfit should repeat their win over the same opposition last season.

Éire Óg, with Daniel Goulding and Kevin Hallissey still among their key players, will be favourites in their encounter with Dungourney.

In Premier Intermediate Football Castletownbere and Kanturk return to Ballingeary for their replay as not even extra-time could separate these sides when they met a few weeks ago.

Since then Kanturk were heavily defeated by Sars’ in senior hurling and that might dent their confidence somewhat, and in the process, hand the initiative to the Beara side.

Bantry Blues meet St Vincent’s and it’s not the first time these teams have clashed in the last number of years with both sides enjoying victories.

League form with both has been mixed, but the presence of Ruairi Deane in the Bantry Blues' side might just give them the edge, but they will need to be at their best as Vincent’s are renowned championship battlers.

Not for the first time in their campaign the Cork minor camogie team showed why they are the reigning champions as they came from behind to see off the formidable challenge of Kilkenny in last Saturday’s All-Ireland Semi-Final.

It sets up an intriguing final against Clare in Nenagh on Saturday at 3pm as they bid for back-to-back titles.

Clare had a surprising but merited victory over Tipperary, who beat Cork in the first round, so Cork manager Jerry Wallis will be well aware of their potential.

 

On the other side in their group clash with Kilkenny, Clare lost on a 3-10 to 1-6 scoreline, but it’s a measure of their quality that they are now in the final.

That said, this is a very good Cork side and Jerry is delighted at their attitude and approach all year, saying: “It's a great group to be involved in, the manner in which they bounced back from the Tipp loss and the battling qualities displayed in the draw with Galway, is a measure of their quality.”

As for facing Clare, he commented: “Any team that gets to an All-Ireland Final deserves respect and we will give them that, and we will need to be at our best to win. I am happy we are back in the final and we intend to give it our best shot and hopefully that will be good enough.”

Molly Lynch, Hannah Sexton, Claire Kingston, Emma Murphy, Fiona Keating, Clodagh Finn and Ellen Muphy are all exceptional players and are capable of racking up a big score irrespective of the opposition and I expect them to do the same on Saturday and in the process retain the title.

It’s also Cork and Clare on Sunday in the Munster Championship, and with both sides building up for the All-Ireland series in the coming weeks, it should be an interesting contest.

Cork are holders of the Munster title and will want to retain it and should get their defence off to a winning start.

As the Cork players now focus on the Munster Championship and the opener with Tipperary in a couple of weeks manager John Meyler will have been pleased with the form of his panel members with their respective clubs over the weekend.

In the five games I watched it was noticeable that the intercounty lads were the stand out players.

The best game of the weekend was Glen Rovers vs Midleton, with Patrick Horgan and Conor Lehane between them scoring 0-20, now could you imagine watching that game without those two class players on view?

Very few would attend in my opinion, at least the clubs had the good sense to ditch Option C.

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